Vancouver, BC (Friday, April 3, 2014) – The Vancouver Stealth (4-7) will play their most important games of the season and it’ll come on back-to-back days as the team plays a home-and-home against the Edmonton Rush (7-4) this weekend.
On Friday, the Stealth visit the Rush for a 6:30PM PST face-off at Rexall Place followed by a matchup at the Langley Events Centre the next night on Saturday, April 4 at 7:00PM PST. The Stealth remain in third place in the West Division and are looking to gain some ground on second place Colorado, who sit two-and-a-half games up on Vancouver.
“It’s a huge weekend for us,” said Stealth Head Coach Dan Perreault. “Calgary’s right on our heels. We’re up against a heck of a team in Edmonton. We’re going to have our hands full.”
The Stealth made headlines on Tuesday, acquiring the reigning NLL Rookie of the Year and Ladner, BC native Logan Schuss at the trade deadline.
“It’s exciting being close to home and having the access to all the facilities and actually be able to build some chemistry throughout the week,” said Schuss. “It’s nice to see some of the guys I know and meet the new guys. I didn’t have that with Minnesota due to my work commitments.”
“We’re excited to have Logan in our lineup,” added Perreault. “He’s an outstanding offensive player. He can shoot the ball well but he also sees the ball well. He’ll fit into the offense and making everybody else better.”
Schuss will look to bolster a Vancouver offense which has cooled down as of late, scoring 13 goals in the last two games. Despite a game in which the Stealth had more shots, loose balls and face-off wins than their opponents, they came up on the short end, falling 12-6 to Colorado last weekend in Denver. Rhys Duch led Vancouver with four points (1g, 3a) and Tyler Digby scored a hat-trick in a losing cause.
With just seven games remaining in the regular season, this is a pivotal weekend for the Stealth as they lead Calgary by one-and-a-half games and will try and put some distance between themselves and the Roughnecks.
“They (Edmonton) sent a message last week,” said Perreault. “We’re going to have to be real good for 60 minutes. They’ve got a great balance of a team so we’re going to have to be at our best.”
The Rush are on a three-game winning streak and have done it with a mix of offense and defense. Last week the team scored 16 goals against a defensively sound Rochester team while holding them to three goals, the lowest total in the NLL by any team this season.
“These division match-ups are that much more important,” said Rush General Manager and Head Coach, Derek Keenan. “Our guys got a clear understanding of that a few weeks ago when we took a bit of setback. Since then we’ve been pretty dialed in and we hope to continue that this weekend.”
“We’re just trying to play five minutes at a time and that’s what Derek stresses,” said Rush goaltender Aaron Bold, who leads the league with a .793 save percentage. “It’s about not getting too caught up in the outcome but playing within the moment.”
The Stealth rank top five in power play goals (3rd), power play percentage (5th) and shots on goal percentage (1st).
“We know where we are as far as the standings and what has to be done,” said Perreault. “We know what we have to work on and improve. We’re hoping to get back on track.”
Saturday night’s game time is at 7:00PM PST at the Langley Events Centre. It will be the only visit the Rush make to the LEC during the regular season. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Stealth Coin Bank, sponsored by G&F Financial Group.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com